I never listened to Quad headphones during the Quad era although I listened quite often to the stereo folddown of my Quad albums (matrix and CD-4) with stereo headphones (tried the SQ "decoding" w/stereo headphones only, didn't notice much of a surround effect).
Skimming this thread, does the preprocessing to create a surround sound effect for stereo headphones modify the frequency response of any of the input channels (to simulate what the shape of the human ear does to sounds from various directions)?
Here is version 2.0 of drag and drop scripts to convert multichannel surround to virtual surround for headphones:
There is a small bug in the script for converting to Binaural, with Headphone equalization, that only affects 7.1 input files.There is an erroneous file delete command at line 48 in the .bat file.You can just delete it, or use the attached corrected versionFrom the included ReadMe.txt file:
This is version 2.0 of virtual surround for headphones. Now supporting 3d / Immersive
This converts stereo, 4.0, 5.0, 7.1, 7.1.4, or 188.8.131.52 multichannel surround
files to binaural audio for headphones, with or without headphone equalization.
The resulting binaural flac files (2 channels 48Khz 24bits) can be played back using any stereo
player with your headphones.
Drag and drop scripts are used with ffmpeg and sox (included) doing the hard work for you.
The ffmpeg and sox included here are self contained, and won't change any existing ffmpeg or sox
install you have.
Drag and drop one or more stereo, 4.0, 5.0, 7.1, 7.1.4, or 184.108.40.206 multichannel surround
to convert the input files to virtual surround (binaural), using the My-IR.wav room+ears
impulse response file
to convert the input files to virtual surround (binaural), using the My-IR.wav room+ears
impulse response file AND equalize for your specific headphones model using My-Headphones.wav
The output files will be in the same directory as your input files. "_binaural" will be added to the input
file name. For the script inducing headphone response, "_binaural_headphone" will be added to the input
In the Headphones-Files folder are more than 1200 headphone impulse response files. Copy the one
for your headphones model to this folder and rename it My-Headphones.wav (you can delete the existing
one, it's for Sony MDR 7506 Headphones).
If there is more than one Impulse Response for your Headphone Model, you can try each and pick the one
that sounds best.
The source for the headphone response files is:
In the IR-Files folder are 22 different ear+room impulse responses to try.
BBC_IR.wav is from here:
Recorded in a BBC room with a Neumann KU100 dummy head microphone.
A1_IR.wav is that same room response, but adjusted for my ears and my HD 800S headphones by
my Smyth Realiser A16
The remaining 20 Impulse Response ear + room files are from here:
SADIE | Spatial Audio For Domestic Interactive Entertainment
The first two being recorded with two different dummy head mics, and the rest with actual
To use the above scripts you'll need to delete the My-IR.wav file in this directory (It is a copy
of BBC_IR.wav) and copy your favorite IR file to this directory and rename it My-IR.wav
In order to help you pick the best room+ears IR file for you, drag and drop on or more
stereo, 4.0, 5.0, 7.1, 7.1.4, or 220.127.116.11 multichannel surround
For each input file, and output file will be created for each of the 22 IRs in the IR-Files
folder. The name of the IR file will added to the input file name. e.g. for an input file
called "Love Alive Stereo.flac":
"Love Alive Stereo_A16_IR_binaural.flac"
"Love Alive Stereo_BBC_IR_binaural.flac"
"Love Alive Stereo_D1_IR_binaural.flac"
Same as above but adding the headphone response file My-Headphones.wav. Output filenames will
have the name of the IR file and "_binaural_headphone" added.
The folder "Test and Example Source Tracks" has Channel ID tracks in each of the supported surround
formats, 2 through 16 channels, as well as noise test tone track, for 16 channels.
These are all intended to help you pick the best IR file for your ears. Drag and drop one or more of them onto
on of the Test_ALL_IRs, as described above, to check it out.
You should also try some music tracks.
Lastly, the script "Add Headphone Response to Stereo (or Binaural).bat will add the My-Headphones.wav response
to any stereo (or already converted to binaural, withOUT headphone response) file.
Thanks for your reply. Actually I would want to do the opposite of what you say, I would like to be able to mix less of L into R and vice versa. But if as you say, the crossfield is "baked in" to binaural to begin with, that may be difficult to do. I did read something though about Logic Pro mixing in Binaural that may allow one to control the crossfield in some way. I guess I'll have to look more closely at the different IR examples.I would think that crossfeed is already baked in. The virtualization works by convolving the hearing via binaural mics (in human ears or a dummy head) with the source channel, so you always get 2 channel out.
However if you want to experiment something Like Plogue Bidule would be perfect for that, or insert your favorite audio software here, that could mix a little L intro R and vise versa. I guess sox or ffmpeg could probably be made to do that too, if you prefer the command line.
Well maybe we are going a little of topic but I have to disagree with @jagxjr15's comments on the Smyth Realiser (I have an A16 and use it every day). I don't know if the A8 has this setting but a key setting for A16 is:
Menu --> Settings --> System --> HT Settings --> Stabilization = Optical
That should solve "image is sometimes seemingly randomly unstable"
Also I don't find that the (lack of, at this time) vertical tracking is a problem.
Now I almost never use my 13 Genelec speakers, instead using the A16, so as not to disturb others in the house with my surround music. Also, with the A16, I can experiment with 16 (virtual) channels, so 9.1.6 or setups with speakers on the ground (vs. ear level or ceiling) etc.
Can't speak to the A8. Yes it's a small company. Never the less their product is the best in class. Waves NX, etc. doesn't come close.
In my experience, the A16 surround image is 100% convincing. Just like in the videos, other than the physical sensation of the headphones on your head, you can't tell the your speakers aren't on (from the listening position anyway. They don't get louder as you get closer - not yet 6DOF like VR). Other users here have said their results are not as good, pending professional personal impulse response recording, but perhaps I've been lucky.
Based on its price and limited availability (and the price of best in class headphones on top) it is a pro tool for pro users (rack mount, balanced outputs, etc.).
What I've offered in this thread is an intro to what can be done without spending the money, and without headtracking, but yeah it all depends on your head size, ear shape, etc. matching one of the IR files.
If you're happy with binaural recordings, and they exist for the music you want to listen to, great!
My goal is help more people enjoy immersive surround, so headphone surround virtualization is one part of that. Immersive up-remix is another, and > 7 channel encoding and playback is a third. All of which I am posting about in this forum.
"My point was that binaural recordings virtualize a 360-degree sound environment perfectly without any special attention to anybody's personal HRTF idiosyncrasies. "
My guess is that works for you because your head & ears are a good match for whatever recording head was used for the binaural recording.
Decades of research into sound localization and HRTFs would not have happened if what you posit was true for all, although I will say that a lot of virtualization techniques hope for OK results with some kind of average HRTF, and/or by emphasizing "room" acoustics vs. head an ear effects. Dolby headphones, etc...
Then there's ambisonics... Ambisonics is currently enjoying it's widest usage ever, as the main surround virtualization for VR headsets. This is mainly because it's computationally easy to rotate etc. as your head moves.
No, binaural works for everybody, not only me, and engineers can produce all of the HRTF data they want, but the proof is in the listening. Even in the Smyth A8, the supplied test signal gives you (right out of the box) great in-room virtualization without any HRTF measurement/correction.
Oh no it doesn't! It doesn't work for quite a lot of people. It certainly It doesn't work for me. Never has. I've tried lots of incarnations of it over the years. I can discern no great improvement over stereo headphone listening (which I also find unpleasant). All I get is 'in the head' sound placement with absolutely no front to back separation whatsoever.No, binaural works for everybody...
Try closing your eyes when listening. Binaural only works for me if I close my eyes while listening -- and it's night and day -- eyes open, stereo only -- eyes closed, the full 360 immersive binaural effect! Also, it may depend on the choice of headphones: the Stereophile review of the AKG 1000 headphones said that they produced the binaural effect for people who didn't get it from any other headphones.Just wondering, do you always have visual stimulie with the binaural?
For me so far, any binaural has been disappointing and especially poor at the front with anything I've tried with excellent 'phones or earbuds.
Well, it works for the vast majority of people. It didn't work for me either, until I closed my eyes while listening. Also, it may depend on the choice of headphones: the Stereophile review of the AKG 1000 headphones said that they produced the binaural effect for people who didn't get it from any other headphones.Oh no it doesn't! It doesn't work for quite a lot of people. It certainly It doesn't work for me. Never has. I've tried lots of incarnations of it over the years. I can discern no great improvement over stereo headphone listening (which I also find unpleasant). All I get is 'in the head' sound placement with absolutely no front to back separation whatsoever.